Blender 2.61 has ranked 4th in the CG Society 2011 retrospective.
CG Society writes:
It is amazingly great to see the Open Source apps bringing in such impressive figures for popularity over the past year. This can mean two things are happening. There are more artists taking advantage of cheaper (free) software, and that software is kicking some goals in quality. Delivering more of what the better artists require to do their work, and play. Otherwise, there’d be all kinds of bad press.
The Blender Foundation have consistently pushed out shorts to display the talent of the artists using it, but also, in creating this free entertainment creation software, has paved the way for more talent to enter the industry. And that cannot be a bad thing.
- CG Society 2011 Retrospective (Sorry, direct link to the right page is not possible - LAME!)